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  • Writer's pictureDebra Holt

Porch Living

Good morning!

It’s been a long time since we last visited. So much has happened all around us and in the world. But I am in my rocking chair, with my coffee mug in hand. I have watered my rose bushes which need serious help from an attack of aphids. I am told I need to buy some ladybugs from the local nursery and turn them loose on the plants. We’ll see.

I am not alone on the porch this morning. In addition to the 3 rescued dogs, and the 2 house cats, it seems I am now owned by birds. Strange how these things happen to me. But over the last few months of being at home with my work office having taken over my home writing office, I have had more time to be trained by the birds in my yard. It was very subtle… all planned I am sure. ‘There she is… another pushover. This will be easy.’

Allow me to introduce you to my newest porch companions. We have Robbie and Rosie Robin. Robbie is pushy. He hops around the yard… often on my heels… looking at me with a demanding stance, staring me down, and won’t take no for an answer. I remind him that I am the larger of the two of us, but he remains unimpressed. He has now found the window to my office. He will stand outside the window and stare in at me with that cocky stance of his. I have no alternative but to stop what I am doing and go outside where I turn on the water hose and make a huge puddle. Then I am allowed to go back to my work. He and Rosie will then enjoy themselves harvesting the lovely worms and grubs and whatever that has floated easily to the top and they grab by the beak full. They then fly away to their nest across the street where they have a lovely nest with babies. This will be repeated two to three times a day.

Next, we have Bobbie and Billy Blue Jay. Now Bobbie is on my list big time. I noticed that my yard hose was getting a few holes in it…strange. Then I found out why when I noted from my window on the world, Bobbie and Billy pecking their sharp beaks into it and drinking what might be left inside. I fixed that problem by securing the holes with heavy tape. Two days later, there they were again, pecking and water was spewing when turned on. So my next trips during the day involved making certain there was a swimming hole for Bobbie and Billy to take daily baths in and leave my hose alone. I must also add that they don’t like to dig for food all that much, so I must place some dry cat food out beside the makeshift pool.

And how could I ignore the Ringneck and Whitewing doves that come along and love to play in the water also? They sun themselves in the branches and clean their feathers afterwards…cooing beautifully and dropping little messages on my lawn furniture that I clean daily. They too love the dry cat food in the mornings.

The only jarring note is when the grackles come in with their loud cawing and beady eyes. They are just plain rude. Only Robbie hangs around and stares them down.

Human visitors come by and we sit under the shade trees in social distancing circle with masks on. They enjoy the birds more than our visits I think. They particularly love laughing at how I have lost control to birds of all things.

And there is another plus to being in the front yard of the house…did I mention this all takes place in the front yard and not the back because that is the domain of the dogs and no one is invited back there. But due to the virus and so many people bound at home during this time, many neighbors we had never seen before from our street make their way daily by our yard on the way to walking paths around the playa lake in our neighborhood. The children particularly are a joy to watch as they stop to literally smell the roses along our yard.

If I am outside, I tell their parents they are more than welcome to choose a rose and take it home. The children get so excited and treat them like they are best gifts. So I guess there are some plus points to spending time at home in my yard or watching from my window as I work. I know my blood pressure is much happier here, surrounded by the beauty of nature and human spirits. Until I turn on the news and there goes the blood pressure.

That is the view from my porch/yard this morning. I have completed two books of the new four book series that will debut next May thanks to my wonderful publishers at Tule and you can enjoy meeting and reading about the Tremayne family of Texas. In the meantime, please continue to socially distance, wear masks, and sanitize hands and anything else that stands still long enough. We need to stay strong and work to get our country back together again.

And now I see and feel that certain stare from an impatient Robbie. Must fly!


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